Stay Safe Under the Sun: The Power of Sunblock Apparel

Rayward Apparel

Key Highlights

  • Sunblock apparel provides effective sun protection by blocking harmful UV rays.
  • Sunblock apparel is not designed to replace sunscreen completely, but complement it.
  • UPF rating is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing sunblock apparel.
  • Sunblock apparel is crucial in protecting your skin from the damaging effects of UV rays.
  • There are different types of sunblock apparel available for various activities and occasions.
  • Sunblock apparel is an essential tool in the prevention of skin cancer and other sun-related health issues.


The warm glow of the sun can be a source of joy and relaxation, but it's important to remember that too much sun exposure can have detrimental effects on our skin. Sunburn, premature skin aging, and worst of all skin cancer are all potential risks when we don't take proper precautions under the sun. That's where sunblock apparel comes in. Sunblock apparel is specially designed clothing that provides effective sun protection, blocking harmful UV rays and keeping our skin safe.

Understanding Sunblock Apparel

Sunblock apparel is an innovative solution to sun protection, offering a physical UV barrier between our skin and the sun's harmful rays. Sunblock apparel is often referred to as UPF apparel, effectively it's clothes with sunscreen protection. While most people may think any old t-shirt will keep them protected, they would be mistaken. Sunblock apparel is specifically designed for the outdoors and proven to provide effective protection. The effectiveness of sunblock apparel is measured by its UPF rating, which stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor. The UPF rating indicates how much UV radiation is blocked by the fabric. The higher the UPF rating, the better the sun protection.

The Science Behind UPF Rating

The UPF rating of sunblock apparel is determined by the fabric's ability to block both UVA and UVB rays - similar to a broad spectrum sunscreen. UVA rays are responsible for premature aging of the skin, while UVB rays are the main cause of sunburn. The UPF rating is calculated by measuring the amount of UV radiation that penetrates the fabric. A fabric with a UPF rating of 50+ blocks 98% of UV radiation allowing only 1/50th of the UV radiation to penetrate through (hence it being UPF 50). When choosing sunblock apparel, look for garments with a high UPF rating to ensure maximum protection for your skin.

Comparing UPF and SPF: What's the Difference?

UPF rating is used to measure the sun protection of clothing, while SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is used to measure the effectiveness of sunscreen. While they are effectively the same measurement, there are some important differences. UPF fabrics provide around the clock protection for both UVA and UVB rays. If your skin is covered, you know the level of protection you're getting. Sunscreens, however, need to be reapplied at least every two hours. Also, unlike UPF fabrics, SPF sunscreens are not naturally broad spectrum. This means unless a sunscreen is labeled as broad spectrum it only provides protection against UVA rays and not both UVA and UVB. It's important to note that sunscreen should be used in conjunction with sunblock apparel to provide comprehensive sun protection.

The Importance of Protecting Your Skin

Person in full armor with shield

Protecting your skin from the harmful effects of the sun is crucial for maintaining overall health and well-being. Skin cancer, including melanoma, is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. UV radiation from the sun is the leading cause of skin cancer, and taking steps to protect your skin can significantly reduce your risk. Sunblock apparel plays a vital role in sun protection by providing an additional layer of defense against harmful UV rays.

How UVA and UVB Rays Damage the Skin

UV rays can cause significant damage to the skin, leading to sunburn, premature aging, and an increased risk of skin cancer. UVB rays are responsible for sunburn, while UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin, causing long-term damage such as wrinkles and skin aging. Both types of rays can lead to the development of skin cancer, including melanoma, the most dangerous and deadly form of skin cancer. Protecting your skin from UV rays is essential in maintaining its health and minimizing the risk of sun-related health issues while also minimizing the chances of developing skin cancer in the future.

The Long-Term Benefits of Sun Protection

By incorporating sun protection measures into your daily life, such as using sunblock apparel, you can enjoy long-term benefits for your skin. Regular use of sunblock apparel can significantly reduce the risk of skin cancer and other skin related diseases. It helps to protect the skin from the damaging effects of UV radiation, preventing the development of wrinkles, dark spots, and other signs of aging. Even just a few minutes of exposure can damage your skin, so making sunblock apparel a regular part of your wardrobe can make a huge difference in the long run.

Skin Cancer: The Top Diagnosed Cancer in America

Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. With over 9,500 cases diagnosed every single day, it is crucial to take proactive steps to protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun. It's estimated that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70, a dynamic we are fighting to change here at Rayward.

Types of Sunblock Apparel

There are different types of sunblock apparel available to suit various activities and occasions. Sun protective clothing is designed to provide maximum coverage and protection from the sun regardless of the activity. In hotter climates you may lean towards a lightweight polyester shirt. If you are hiking you might choose to wear a UPF certified wide-brim bucket hat, and many companies also make UV swimwear specifically designed for water activities, offering both sun protection and comfort.

A Guide to Sun-Protective Fabrics

Sun-protective fabrics are specially designed to block harmful UV rays and provide effective sun protection, and they are lab certified accordingly. These fabrics are made from materials that have been treated or woven in a way to enhance their sun-blocking properties. Polyester and bamboo are known for their excellent sun protection capabilities, while natural fibers like cotton and linen offer lower levels of UV protection. When choosing sun-protective fabrics, the easiest way to know exactly what level of protection you are getting is by checking the fabrics UPF level. And if there is no UPF level posted, chances are it's not designed for UV protection and you should look elsewhere.

Best Apparel Choices for Different Activities

When it comes to choosing sunblock apparel for different activities, it's important to consider the specific needs and requirements of each activity. Here are some of the best apparel choices for various activities:

  • Swimwear: UV swimwear, such as UV-protective swimsuits and rash guards, provides excellent sun protection for water activities.
  • Outdoor sports: Lightweight and breathable sunblock apparel, such as sun hats, rash guards, and accessories, are ideal for outdoor sports like hiking, cycling, and running.
  • Everyday wear: Incorporating UPF clothing into your everyday wardrobe, such as lightweight bamboo hoodies and sun hats, allows for continuous sun shielding without compromising on style.

Integrating Sunblock Apparel into Your Daily Life

Incorporating sunblock clothing into your daily life is a simple and effective way to stay protected from the sun's harmful rays. UPF clothing can be worn as everyday wear, whether you're running errands, going for a walk, or enjoying outdoor activities. While some manufacturers ignore comfort and simply ensure protection, UPF products can be some of the most comfortable shirts ever - especially those that use bamboo blends. Bamboo fibers are not only naturally UV protective, but it's one of the softest and most comfortable fabrics known to mankind. If you don't believe us try it out for yourself!

Everyday Wear: Incorporating UPF Clothing

Incorporating UPF clothing into your everyday wardrobe is a smart and stylish way to protect your skin from the sun. Lightweight and breathable UPF clothing, such as UPF hoodies and UPF sun hats, can be worn as everyday wear, providing continuous sun protection without compromising on style. UPF clothing is designed to block harmful UV rays, keeping your skin safe from sunburn, premature aging, and the risk of skin cancer. By making UPF clothing a part of your daily routine, you can prioritize UV protection and maintain the health of your skin.

Sunscreen Apparel for Outdoor Sports and Activities

Soccer ball on a field

For outdoor sports and activities, sunblock apparel is a must-have for effective sun protection. Accessories like sun hats and UV sleeves can be added to provide additional coverage and protection. When engaging in outdoor sports and activities, it's important to choose sunblock apparel that is lightweight, breathable, and designed to move with your body. Sun hoodies are also a great way to ensure maximum coverage, with the hood helping to keep you head and neck covered whenever you need it.

Taking Care of Your Sunblock Apparel

Sunblock apparel, also known as UPF clothing, is a powerful tool in protecting your skin from the sun's harmful rays. It is important to take care of these items to ensure their longevity and effectiveness. Proper maintenance and washing techniques can help maintain the UPF rating and overall quality of your sunblock apparel, but the washing techniques can vary by manufacturer so make sure to follow the care label instructions. And even with the best care, sunblock apparel can eventually start to wear down. As a fabric thins, it'll naturally provide less protection than it's newer counterpart. A good rule of thumb is to try and replace your sunscreen apparel every couple of years to make sure you are still getting the level of protection you'd expect.

Washing and Maintenance Tips

Proper washing and maintenance are essential to keep your sunblock apparel in optimal condition. To start, always check the garment's care instructions for specific guidelines. In general, it is recommended to wash SPF apparel in cold water with a mild detergent. Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners, as they can degrade the fabric's UPF rating. After washing, gently squeeze out excess water and lay the garment flat to dry. Avoid wringing or twisting the fabric, as this can damage the fibers. Additionally, store your sunblock apparel in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent fading and deterioration.

How Long Does UV Protection Last?

The duration of UPF protection in sunblock apparel varies depending on various factors, including the fabric, wear and tear, and exposure to sunlight. Over time, the UPF rating of a garment can diminish due to factors such as fading, stretching, and general fabric wear. This is especially true if there are any holes in the shirt, which will obviously cause a lapse in protection in that area. It is recommended to replace sunblock clothing every two to three years or sooner if you notice signs of wear or a decrease in UPF protection. Regularly inspect your clothing for any signs of damage, such as fraying seams or thinning fabric. By replacing worn-out sunscreen clothing, you can ensure that you continue to receive the highest level of sun protection.

Beyond Apparel: Complete Sun Protection Strategies

While sunblock apparel offers excellent shielding against harmful UV rays, it is important to supplement it with other sun protection strategies. Sunscreen is an essential component of any sun protection routine. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF to all exposed areas of skin, including the face, neck, and hands. Additionally, wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses that block 100% of UV rays can provide added protection for the face and eyes. Accessories such as sun hats, sun sleeves, and UV neck gaiters can further enhance your sun protection efforts.

The Role of Sunscreen with UPF Clothing

Dont skip the sunscreen

While UPF clothing provides excellent protection against UV rays, it is still important to use sunscreen in conjunction with sunblock clothing. Sunscreen offers additional protection to areas of the body that may not be covered by clothing, such as the face, neck, and hands. When choosing a sunscreen, opt for a broad-spectrum formula with a high SPF rating and apply it generously to all exposed skin. Remember to reapply sunscreen every two hours or more frequently if sweating or swimming. By combining the use of UPF clothing and sunscreen, you can ensure comprehensive shielding against the sun's harmful rays.

Wide Brim Hats and Accessories for Enhanced Protection

In addition to sunblock apparel and sunscreen, there are several accessories that can further enhance your sun protection. Sun hats with wide brims provide shade and protect the face, neck, and ears from direct sunlight. Sun sleeves and gloves offer additional coverage for the arms and hands. UV neck shields can provide coverage for the delicate neck area. When spending time near water or in snowy environments, polarized sunglasses can help protect the eyes from harmful UV rays and glare.

The Future of Sunblock Apparel

The future of sunblock apparel looks promising as advancements in fabric technology continue to emerge. Researchers are working on developing fabrics with even higher UPF ratings and improved breathability. Innovations in fabric dyeing techniques are being explored to create more vibrant colors while maintaining UV protection. Additionally, sun protective fashion is becoming more stylish and versatile, allowing individuals to stay protected without compromising on style. As technology and fashion intersect, the future of sunblock apparel holds endless possibilities for enhanced sun protection.

Innovations in Fabric Technology

Fabric technology plays a crucial role in the effectiveness of sunblock clothing. Innovations in this field have led to the development of fabrics with higher UPF ratings and improved functionality. Advanced weaving techniques create fabrics with tighter weaves, reducing the amount of UV radiation that can penetrate the fabric. Additionally, new fabric treatments and finishes can enhance a garment's UPF rating. Moisture-wicking fabrics are also becoming popular, allowing for increased breathability and comfort. As fabric technology continues to evolve, sunblock apparel will become even more effective in providing superior sun protection.

Trends in Sun Protective Fashion

Sun protective fashion has come a long way in recent years, with designers incorporating UPF fabrics into their collections. This trend has given rise to a wide range of stylish and functional sunblock apparel options. From swimsuits and rash guards to dresses and hats, there are now countless fashionable choices available for those seeking sun protection. Designers are also experimenting with vibrant colors and patterns, ensuring that sun protective clothing is both practical and on-trend. With the growing demand for sun protection, the future of sun protective fashion looks bright.


Sunblock apparel is not just a trend; it's a necessity for safeguarding your skin against harmful UV rays. Understanding the science behind UPF ratings and the long-term benefits of sun protection is crucial. With skin cancer being a top diagnosis in America, investing in UPF fabrics tailored to different activities is key. Integrating sunblock clothing into your daily routine ensures ongoing benefits. Remember, washing and maintaining your apparel, along with using sunscreen in conjunction, enhances your defense. With the right sunblock apparel choices you can still enjoy the great outdoors in comfort without putting your skin health at risk.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can UPF Clothing Replace Sunscreen?

While UPF clothing provides excellent shielding against UV rays, it should not replace sunscreen entirely. Sunscreen is still necessary for areas of the body not covered by clothing, such as the face, neck, and hands.

How Often Should I Replace My Sunblock Apparel?

It is recommended to replace sunblock clothing every two to three years or sooner if you notice signs of wear or a decrease in UPF protection. Regularly inspect your clothing for any signs of damage or deterioration.